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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 4, 2013 12:00am-2:01am EST

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and diplomacy go together, and i think those are the lessons with the addition that you can want do it without the intelligence. i think that the task force has been an amazing model, and i feel really as somebody was able to use it, in a way that maybe others couldn't in pictures. it really proved the point and i think made the difference. >> one of the favorite moments in the situation room with madeleine as general powell when he was making the argument we have to have a half million troops to go into bosnia, and why do we have a dplor yows army for if we can't use it. i almost had an baa lism. >> patiently, patiently. [laughter] >> let me open it up.
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we have a few minutes at the end for questions. >> just to say how dynamic this relationship with the intelligence community is. there was a supt sunday morning we saw it, and the fighting -- >> tell them who. >> the croatian president. it was out of the crying that there were refugees out there and so forth, and dick had communicated to sandy, i guess, that it was time to stop the fighting. it was too dangerous because of the threat of the sesh intervention, and so he and chris hill went into see him, and i was sent in to see the defense minister also known as the pizza man because he had become welcome in canada with a chain of pizza restaurants, and so it was darg in the ministry of defense, and we know where
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the front line is, that we were told from the previous day, and we walk in and tell the minister the instructions are from the united states that you must stop and stop the forces right now. we said, ambassador holbrook is giving this to the president right now. they said, stop, stop, we're on the last hill overlooking, and the seshes going crazy shooting their own soldiers who are running from us. you want us to stop right now? we said, stop right now. we get back in the plane, and so dick said stop, and we told them to stop, jim and i, and we say, but look, did we know it was this bad? it was this bad, so, you know, we're scrambling to get the intelligence information to put
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it together. i guess dick finally got, you know, got the word it was bad. he said, we should go right now and tell him to surrender right now. we can save his unit, right now. this is the moment. we had to go to italy for something. we detoured back, get into belgrade at ten o'clock at night, already had dinner, and we are in the sedan with the u.s. ambassador, and we say to the u.s. ambassador, we say, god, i can't believe we're going to see him this late at night, make us eat a heavy dinner with all these meats and everything, drink the wine, and serves three kinds of meat, keeps you up all night, maybe can we just say we don't want to eat? we know not to talk about anything in the sedan because we assume it's sparred. we go up and greet at the front door of the presidential mansion, he says, gentleman, come in, it's late, i'm sure you
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don't want to eat this late. [laughter] and then -- and then he says, so we ought to not prepare to surrender. we have put general in charge. he is good man. he will fix this problem. just like this. so you wonder, you know, the intelligence is a competitive business so we had intelligence. he had intelligence. i don't know where he got intelligence, but it was pretty spooky that night. >> let me ask a question before you open it up, we have them
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pulling together the task force is people driven, and in addition to a bureaucratic thing, institutional terrorisms that you would recommend to your successors to not reinvent the wheel the next time we have a similar crisis. no one has to invade rwanda or invade bosnia or kosovo off the shelf. you invent it offer the fly. the pentagon do you doesn't says happens, here's the plan, assuming the intelligence does exactly that; right? you know, always is on the fly. intiewtional thoughts for those who come after terms of china to be ready faster and for forcefully?
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the hard part, i think, is how to involve as many layers of the system of possible without slowing anything down. i think that is the problem because i think there is a tendency to get so much layers because we don't know where we get the information, and the decision making gets slow so i do think that one of the things, as i go through these documents, is there began to be, and sandy, if the pressure came from the top. ultimately, that is what has to happen. the president has to say, i want a decision on this, and you can write as many memos as you want until blue in the face, but bottom line, that's my sense of this, is this all changed because president clinton decided that he was going to do something about it and got the system moving. >> let me pick up on that. we're here in this wonderful
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clinton library, and i want to bring this back, if i can. you know, there's more than 40 paces between the situation room and the oval office. rarely the security advisers get fired if things go wrong, but presidents do get thrown out of office if things go wrong, and i can assure you there was no more appetite for american boots on the group in 1995 than there is in 2013. we go through somalia, blackhawk down. we didn't have a great experience in haiti. there was no appetite in the country for putting 25,000 or 20,000 troops into bosnia, even in the context of peace agreements. most people couldn't tell you where bosnia was on the map. the -- inevitably the peace agreement would be shaky, and it
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was an extraordinarily courageous decision, i think, and we would not have had the peace. that was the center piece of the end game because once we said we will be there to enforce the peace, that was the key decision; then the parties had confidence that maybe a peace agreement actually could last. it comes down to presidential leadership here, and the decision a president made, i think, that was purely his judgment about what was in the best interest of the united states, of europe, what was the best thing to do in terms of our security and in terms of our values, and i, you know, that's the lesson, the fundmental lesson that i think i take away from this. >> okay. let me open it up for questions, and -- i'm soy #* --
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sorry, leon, go ahead. use the microphone. >> [inaudible] real quick. even all collectively kind talking about what i was able to do. just remember that i was there on the vice president's dime, and as a senator, two years before he had any inclination or idea that he was going to wind up as vice president of the united states you'll find the speech given on the floor followed shortly by senator dole, the two first senate comments saying what was going on in the form of yugoslavia was not acceptable to the united states and why. i still hope that we will one day get back to that level of clarity and collaboration across the aisle because that, too, is
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essential for success. take two questions at a time so we have a chance to get a couple in, and woman in blond back there with the glasses. >> oh, i'm carolyn, and a personal memory enjoyed in our family that connects to this is our daughter was rookie reporter for abc in greenwood, mississippi and was home for thanksgiving and asked president clinton if she could interview him in 1995, just after thanks giving. he agreed and he announced in typical fashion to help her little career along and to get her on to peter jennings nightly news as the lead story that the u.s. would be sending troops to bosnia. i remember the personal
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sweetness of that, but also the graff tews of it because there was such resistance to u.s. troops involvement in bosnia, i didn't realize until i read the booklet handed us this was after dayton, and they were sent to help enforce the peace. can you comment on dynamic of the decision making process was to send troops? >> one more there in the front, and then we'll take those two. map with the glasses and the beard. >> >> thank you for coming. they make the argument that the captions were a big mistake because by the arms embargo and the sanctions against serbia, it
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forced every got in the region to get all military supplies and economic event, go tho criminal channels and argued it gave rise to modern transnational post soviet organized crime like prohibition did in the u.s., and i was just wondering, did the intelligence community see that coming? did you report on it during 1991-1995, and given what we know now, do you think that's a tradeoff that was worth it? >> okay. two questions. leon, you want to take the last one? >> [inaudible] first of all, we're running this on the basis of the set of the classified documents. i can go so far as the light of the documents permits me to go. that question is another time maybe for another set, but i
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want to say that one of the consequences of sanctions is a disruption among society including disruptions among the innocent. i mean, when you cause massive inflation through sanctions, it's the middle class that bears the brunt or the very poor that bear the brunt in any given country. we had to deal with such issues as the availability of heating oils for sanitarium in serbia and elsewhere in the winter months so there were always consequences that were not desired that had to be dealt with on the fly by the decision making process. now, if you think that the choices between effectively operating the sanctions, doing
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nothing, or switches immediately to the use of force, i would say that one uses the sanctions, fully aware of side effects and strong medicine. >> madeleine? >> on the sanctions, i actually -- i teach at georgetown, and i made up a coffers. i say foreign policy's just trying to get some country to do what you want, all it is. what are the tools? there's not a lot of tools in the national security tool box. there is diplomacy on one end and use of force on another, and various graduations. sanctions are a very important economic tool, and the 1990s was very much known as the sanctions decade. it was very interesting because i think that one of the other things i did at the u.n. was try to make sure that sanctions stayed on iraq. that was, you had a cease fire translated into a series of captions, and those were very kind of ham handed sanctions, if i might say. the most, the toughest sanctions
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on any country at all, and what we were looking at through leon's help was to try to really get more surgical with the sanctions in -- on the form of yugoslavia. one of the problems that was there, because you put two things together, is that there was an arms embargo that was put on that only hurt the countries that had seceded from the seshes. the serbs had a huge standing military, and the reason we wanted to lift the embargo on arms was that the others were not getting any. there's two different aspects to this, but sanctions are a tool, and they do hurt, and the question is, how do you turn to what are known as smart sanctions to just the comprehensive ones? i think on the other questions, sandy, i mean, these documents -- >> all i have to say is that
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when you design a strategy like this, you start with the question of whether you're prepared to use force, and then work backwards. that's the first thing you answer, and then you design your strategy to that decision rather than designing your strategy, make the threat, and then decide whether you are prepared to use force. once the president made that decision he was prepared to deploy troops urn these circumstances, we then backed up and decided we could use that as leverage to convince the pears if they reached an agreement, there was good chance the agreement would be used and to go to the other nato countries -- our 25 or 20 was part of the 60,000-person nato force deployed in bosnia, actually, much longer than we thought it was going to be
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deployed, and that became extremely important to the confidence of the parties that if they greed to some kind of an agreement, that would end the war. >> just on the sanctions piece and analyzing the sanctions use as a tool, it's true that you may give some incentive for the networks to form and learn how to smuggle, but i do a lot of work in eastern europe, a lot of declassified documents now made possible according to the files and the kgb files. there's a book on romania that's instructive. it was just finished this fall where he goes through the entire analysis. these countries are ripe with intelligence services. in eastern europe, one out of every three people speaks for some other nation's interest. those intelligence networks then at the end of the cold war, they dissolve, became something else,
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business networks, networks for influence by russia today, and so forth. you can't blame the e emergence of the networks on sanctions. sanctions had this much impact on something that was going to be there in any case and is there in full force today, but one thing sanctions did do is it forced these newly democratic governments to lead and take a stand that was not easy for them. it paid off later on. in the kosovo campaign in 1999, we required kosovo and bulgaria not only to keep the sanctions on at that point, but besieged with requests from serbia to let war material go through there, and they didn't. think had the means to stop the war materials. they cut off any hope of russian war material reaches serbia in that campaign, and they did it because they wanted to be nay
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doe members later, but they did it because they had practiced it with the sanctions earlier. sanctions cut both ways, but they do strengthing government. >> with that, i apologize we have to break because the president will be here shortly, and i want to thank the cia for putting this on for the clinton library, and most of all, our panel, leon, sandy, wes, and madeleine. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, thank you. i was upstairs watching the panel. i had it piped in. i was thinking it's no wonder we have a few things right. i had so many smart people working in the administration.
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[laughter] i'd like to begin by thanking stephanie street, the presidential center, and thank you, terry gardner, for the opening remarks and all work you did to make this day happen. i also want to thank john and kissinger from the cia and mad lynn, sandy, wes, terrific. i loved the panel. i was upstairs hanging on every word. [applause] i presume all of you got one of these books, and if you did, i urge you to read it. if you read this, you don't have to pay attention to what i'm about to say. [laughter] you'll know what to say is about.
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i want to thank some people who are not here. i want to thank the late secretary of state warren christopher for the work he did at dayton. i am very grateful to dick holbrook, and i miss him. he was a massive force on my birthday in 1995, i walked of the golf course in wyoming to learn that three had lost their lives in the search for peace in bosnia. i thank sandy for being here today. they and w ergs s were on that dangerous road because they would not guarantee them safe air traffic into belgrade, and
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so they had to take that road. wes clark and i have been friends for 45 years. we met at georgetown in 19 # -- 1967. they used to stop through arkansas on his way to some new duty post, and i watched him rise. i was terrified my election as president would mess up the army with some advance. he got it all on his own merits, some in in spite of the facts that we were friends. he had done a lot of things for our country, but nothing touched me more than when he raced down the side of the mountain trying to save his colleagues in a burning car. i woke up in the middle of the
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night last night, and i couldn't go back to be. e relived bosnia from start to finish. i miss brown and all the people in the commerce department and business leaders who died on a mountainside in crow -- cro asia on a mission to rebuild bosnia economically, and i have often wondered if they had lived, whether there would have been enough economic progress to milk some of the stubbornness that persisted at the end of the war. i want to thank al gore for giving me mr. sanctions leon ferth and getting him to the country and for being really
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tough the pay on whom i am grateful for, no longer with us, is true. not all the military felt the way they did, and after we got the peace agreement to send the peace keeping force in, it was al gore that got everybody in the room to remind them we were all on the same team, and we better begin to act accordingly. that's what a vice president is for, to be the bad cop. when he had to be, he was great at it. i want to thank a lot of other people whom i'll miss along the way, who were no longer here. i'd like to make one general point. one of the things that i trieded
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to emphasize when i wrote my memoirs is that when you're president, everything happens at once. we finished the bosnia peace accord in november of 1995 in the middle of the two government shut downs. after one and before the next one, quite appropriate for today, don't you think? [laughter] 1995 was a big year. we restoredded the democratically elected leader of haiti. we finally got the cease fire in northern ireland which led three years afterwards to the good friday accord which still is held today through good times and bad. we got the bosnia peace agreement. we had the largest handover of land from the israelis to the
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palestinians in the wears bank, and it caused me friend, the prime minister, his life three weeks later. ron brown's plane crashed in 1995. oklahoma city occurred in 1995. raising all kinds of other questions about intelligence and the relationship of those who collected intelligence abroad and those who collected it at home, how it should be shared, what should be done. meanwhile, they were trying to reserve the position as a true democrat small z in russia against opponents who wanted a more author authoritarian futurr going back to communism or forward with a kind of ultranationalism that would recreate in their own mind a
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20th and 21st century version of a russian empire. meanwhile, we were seeing the emergence of terrorism justified by islamic politics and certain interpretation of religions. we already had the first world trade center bombing in 1993, remember, and the people hurt in bosnia were muslims. it was a source of concern to people all across the word. i received calls from both the pope and the king of saudi arabia asking me to intervene in bosnia. i wondered where that was the first time they had been on the same side of an issue. dick holbrook said it was the problem from hell.
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when we discussed how everything happens at once, the aftermath of somalia, highty, bosnia, tony crack the one of the best lines of all in the white house. he said, you know, sometimes i really miss the cold war. [laughter] bosbosnia in some ways was a struggle for the 21st century. it was the first conflict which reminded us that the end of the cold war basically took the vail off this image we were privileged to have, even when it did not share with reality that there was a bipolar world and as dangerous as it was, at least it was organized. even our spies helped each other out, i used to say, you know, if the russians were better off if
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the spies in the cold war for america were really good because that way we really -- we knew their intentions and knew they didn't mean to launch a nuclear weapon at us, and we were better off that the russian spies were good because that way they knew we didn't intend to blow them off the face of the earth. ..
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>> i thought my job when i got elected as embodied by the commitment by had to stop the ethnic cleansing was do try to create a world id which they would put together things to tear them apart. of which we did not put back together the old dictatorships that characterize the cold war. to create a new world of freedom and prosperity
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cooperation that we would share. on a and a world where everything is happening in at once intelligence is affluence because it is possible for a one-person no matter how many newspaper articles you read or talk on the telephone to have knowledge in areas you have to make decisions. some us a general proposition before every get to bosnia with the intelligence point of view it is important and really matters. but yeltsin was under siege but veto the russian army
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but the son of. eight a friend said the deal like yeltsin? just like that. yes i did. he got a big smile and said could. my country in is presently
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the baltic states and then talk about this before as part of my package to russia. we have economic problems at home. and we also knew i needed his cooperation because of the historic times of the russians. so we did that. but america was supposed to stop and miraculously acting with the u.n. peace keeping force.
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to fix it without losing a single american life without killing a single american bystander of the other side. then at the time our european friends pushing a plan the we thought had a chance to succeed but we had a policy early on to lift the arms embargo because the bosnian muslims in the service at all the arms they needed thank you very much. in the ability to use air strikes but to go to europe the europeans told him to go home they had everything under control.
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so we went back to work. you remember the already talk about this in the panel but slowly we got more involved with more permission from our allies from what we want us to do together with a humanitarian airdrops. then we went to work on the sanctions that the when supported then we had as safe area which would work intel it didn't in 1985. but they would not agree to raise the arms embargo. i was reluctant to go along
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with the real champion of this issue. but to keep in mind there were arms embargoes if those places were listed it would have the hot reverse impact to open the store. those places would strengthen those that were doing the killing. it was a terrible dilemma. we had this team that kept plugging and add it in 1984 we got approval for nato to do airstrikes but with the
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system that mitt the nato countries had to agree and so did the u.n. secretary-general and that was a real problem with the security council. we were afraid we had a power that did not exist. then is february we got to use it because there was a no-fly zone with the nato pilots the first time in the history of nato cough that together it had never conducted a military operation. it was out of area of the territorial boundaries.
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then in march we got a big break the bosnian san decoration of was fighting over territory but began to fight against the serbs then that begin evers' love -- so slow leader richard the war around. what had already been done through the no-fly zone zone, humanitarian efforts to casualty rate 130,000 in 1982 at 3,000 in 1984 but the political problem and the underlying military capacity had not been resolved. so we kept working through 1985. overtime the bosnians and
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croats after the peace agreement only controlled 30 percent of the land of bosnia even though all together it was more than 50 percent of the population. have the time we started a new peace talks are parties midday to end. so the principles of trade -- agreed to perking that was important. back to the problem from hell. with the shelling of the sarajevo market.
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with the campaign but then holbrook began wes clark and the whole team in retried to get them to open peace talks. i knew we could not own bosnia it is america not error. but as secretary of the united states the deputy
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foreign minister of russia covet to keep the russians that they. the results was the peace agreement. with the undivided sarajevo. to have control over foreign policy or monetary policy through the common central date to trade immigration and each division in the soviet republic would have their own police forces then we had to sell it with a peacekeeping force of 60,000 two-thirds of which would be supplied by one-third of the
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united states. you heard them talk about that. if i remember of the 60 percent of the people were opposed. i say that to make this point. the american people particularly when they think things about well at home. how political leaders often times popular not exactly like the voters still you not to do it it is like a blinking yellow light tell us what our objectives are intel is what it will cost. a and you better me right.
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if not you own a. that is basically what the polls made cannot make foreign policy decisions decisions, you just cannot do it. 80% of the people were against me helping mexico when we gave them a loan in 1995. in we had just lost congress. people thought i was nuts. thinking of bosnia we don't make the loan to mexico and they hate us and so does latin america and then the next year we have another 1 million immigrants across the border and people ask me why did you let this happen
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in it? because the day i had to make a decision 80 percent of you were against it. so the president of international affairs cannot only look down the road but around the corner. who have to start with the coal bet work back to realize the citizens understand there is no way they could tell as much as you do they have their own life to live but when they tell you not to do it they say be careful. tell us what you will do in don't do more than you have too or spend a dollar more than you have to it and you better be right. but nothing to do with the discharge. the majority a against air received or close about.
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we did not have of majority for any of that. you just have to look down the street and listen to the blinking yellow light and treat your citizens with respect tell them what you're doing and why. all of this is happening we get the peace agreement for the shutdown then in december we have a formal peace citing in paris. by one and only chance to have a real plus -- with slobodan milosevic he was intelligent, articulate, a cordial and the call this man i have ever been in my
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life i have never looked into darker eyes in my life he was also paranoid he space was a defender of for being and he said you know, he was killed because he was betrayed by a member of his intelligence service that is why kennedy was killed you just did a better job to cover it up. everybody is always out to get somebody in his time. that justified anything he did or anybody he killed. the price of victory was high. the estimates of those killed everybody knows there was more than 2 million refugees the piece has
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endured but today they have a meeting other bosnian and herzegovina you could be taken into the year period union but probably not now because they could not for the national institution in necessary to get full membership as the service will try to have a greater serbia. but the piece has and george. to go back to the beginning had the peace endure while maintaining our relationship we expanded nato a.m. to of kidnappers more than 40 affiliated countries period the partnerships with a special agreement with russia trying to cooperate with them.
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ukraine and belarus have caused exxon to get the weapons out then to help control that. then during all these years i spent a lot of your tax money to keep half of the 40,000 russians involved in biological works employed so they don't work for somebody else. that was a good expenditure of your tax money. all that had to be considered. finally we made the unequivocal polls statement by saving the largest community of muslims in europe that we were not anti-islamic country. that america would take a serious risk to keep in is the muslims from being killed.
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in the woodwork with a and support any population then renounced terror to embrace reconciliation and cooperation. we tried to do this all the ones you can see how a important intelligence was. we had to know how much change. we had to know how reliable the interest to move the nuclear weapons all this while knowing everything in bosnia. we had to do the right things in bosnia and in the right way. i cannot say enough about the intelligence apparatus
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to give us tightly, the quicker and more accurate reports than what was going on in in bosnia and then with the balkan task force the cia the nsa the joint chiefs of staff were being together. chairing a an event to keep them working together we were sharing information and not according and. the then to make good decisions. i love all these shows like homeland. but real world involves us
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cia folks what is really going on? in how to get that back to the policy makers. you have to be active not passive consumer of intelligence otherwise they assume you have been choked and not even having a meeting for rwanda. because you are so obsessed with the and other stuff. but i also agree with the panel with the intelligence forces to be in the room to be -- to get more information is as might
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experience the only time the cia went beyond that was before george tenet was inactive partner in the palestinian intelligence services promoting meat -- peace to the middle east that was the only year in the entire history not one israeli was killed were the leadership of the country changed hands. we live in a world it is easy. with the lasting it did during benefit in that
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cooperative mechanism to share information in a responsive and straightforward way is a good role model that should be followed in the future. one of those things that would have to be relearned. i like jim baker very much but when he said in response to the trouble it by a stampede on have a dog did not fight i think he was wrong. we do have a dog in that fight and we still do. what was the end of the cold war going to mean? the rise of chaos or cooperation? if you wanted to be the latter the matter how much blood was shed or how much
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determination there was for destruction we had to do the right thing. we could not have said with a first legacy of europe with two world wars with the holocaust in between the first thing we will say is we cannot do nothing to stop clinton. second, it is important because it revitalized nato that there is a post cold war mission. it proves to have a difference of opinion but not only in bosnia but but
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what was a constructive message because you were keeping innocent civilians from being slaughtered. we did have a dog and the bosnians fight. the others i mentioned in some i have not. lots of other people make sure that our job won the fight. in the future is up to the bosnians. i think that government documents will show the
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ethnic cleansing is not to the bosnians already long dash always hated each other in the the together in relative peace over five centuries but you had a bunch of power hungry politicians who thought they could spark the deep well of insecurity by making them fear the other. at various places today. this was not some longstanding problem but a naked, a cynical coldblooded
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power play. you'd see the level of cooperation and those i mentioned to brought to their work to prove all over again that created cooperation works plus -- best to solve complex problems. a book called the wisdom of craft from this is what the book concludes. just look around their room if i could find a person with the highest i.q. in the room then we take the rest of us to go into another room if you feed a series of problems then ask for a
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response overtime favorite make better decisions so the fact they were smart to begin with made a big difference. because if you get bad fax and data interpretation and you will make good decisions but it will not working in the real world. so i can and you will see they did one heck of a good job. i feel very strongly that we should do more of this. i believe it is true when i was president i uncovered
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more documents than what anybody else had more quickly the it ever before. in addition while the bosnian conflict was going on in 1994. that declassified 44 a million pages of documents. kept secret going back to world war i. but in 1995 i issued an executive order by intelligence satellites over
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environmental significance. tried to do this since 1990. and they had never been done before. of intelligence target three. 90 percent of you did not even know that it had happened. most of you did not know it was a secret in the first place but we have to be careful not to create the edifice of the importance that blocks us from the empowerment of ordinary citizens in a democracy. it needs to be secret while making the decision but afterwards it is a good thing to let the scholars look at the stake in this. in 1985 we charged the cia
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and other agencies to institute the classification program but only 5% of all classified documents had to be released after that more than 50% we will beat that deadline today. so i think all of this is important. read the classified 800 million pages of documents. compared to 180 million including two of those were my years reid declassified to the 5% of that. i believe this is an important part of maintaining the public trust.
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people know they have to collect information that you don't want to broadcast but they have since even after you know, to figure out if we did the right thing or not and what we could do better in the future. this is a big deal to have this event today. it is the earliest it has ever been released. you can say you like this because it works out okay. madeleine could have been more blood to with this thing is that she said or did but believe me, what you
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will find when the time comes for things to be released, there are not in any because we missed it. nobody had to uncover in the documents. going back to the point why it is important to be a positive consumer of intelligence the ncaa and the other agency new bosnia was e.d. and though world of life and threatening the future of europe 800,000 people died in 90 days. it happened in a hurry but we were preoccupied elsewhere and did not do anything. i wish i did not have to say
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that but isn't that better than covering it up for come up with an explanation? it is not in anyway minimize of what was accomplished in bosnia we have good intelligence with the responsibility and we did this again. we gave europe the chance to strengthen the european union. to build a continent that was united is a democratic for the first time the nation's states rose on the european continent but what was called ethnic cleansing with no biological distinction between them but
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in sarajevo it reached the northernmost points in the orthodox russian empire reached the southern most points. people ranged themselves accordingly in the later killed themselves over differences it was all about politics and power. normally somebody strong killing somebody week the reason they states that they do it is a lie. one of the great gaps secretary albright brought to the deliberations that we had here it goes about rand nato in support of a strong era was a family history of
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personal history to see some of those events unfold. some of that is the story. like all of history there are questions. because a long time ago good people were given good informational and so they could make decisions. thank you very much. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> the subcommittee will come to order. i will apologize to be late we had a vote on the floor and other members will arrive as they finish their business on the floor. the deadliest typhoon ever to devastate portions of the philippines with sustained winds of 100 to 85 miles per hour they call the typhoon yolanda of locally but the surg pe reached a maximum height ofon 40 feet and the deadliest type food on record with 1,059 are
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missing. approximately 26,003 injured yolanda is the strongest armter ever recorded at landfall in w the fourth typhoon of strong august of wind speed.ion it was 3.five times the size of katrina.the last week by led aan congressional delegation tohe the philippines to witness the devastation to gain a better understanding of the un matt needs. joined by my distinguished colleaguie and staff director we weres unanimous of the gratitude of the accomplishments of u.s. military, usaid and ngo on the ground including catholic relief services recommended over $20 billion for assistance.
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the military also play a vital role on with revenants of recovering bodies. in the immediate aftermath highly motivated u.s. service members brought suppliese including food, ic water, medicine, housi ng material by the planeloada to homeless instituteter. dictums getting flights back to manila for safety and shelter. this time the uss george washington and other major military assets to provide assistance. smart, rapid, response combined with air lift capability has made all the difference in the world. in the pill finds, i had the privilege of meeting the cornel chief of staff of the third marine expeanut -- expedition their force. i nomined her to the a it was clear watching him in a,
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he earned extraordinary respect from the top of the command down to the lowest private. his leadership and that of general kennedy ensured that a desperate shell-shocked population of victims got immediate tangible aid. every marine i saw, every marine we saw including from new jersey was working around the clock to protect victims. sleep, what is that one marine told me with a smile. we're saving lives. al, principle adviser for east asia and the foreign disaster relief said, quote, when the u.s. hit the ground, things got moving. this was a model response, he said. we saved lives here. i know, that for a fact, close quote. the cooperation and team work of
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our military and disaster assistance leaders from usaid including the director of office foreign disaster assistance traveled with us. and ngo community and philippine officials was a textbook example how disaster assistance ought to be done. the relief efforts from far from over. it's now the recovery phase and more needs to be done. with donald rially from catholic relief services, we were with him the entire day, when we were in the devastated city, our delegation visited a san ticks kit distry biewx and received a briefing is a medical doctor in my own state of new jersey. we met with numerous survivors who told us heart breaking story. somehow radiated a calm, and inner peace. one man told us how his father
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had drowned in only a few feet from where we stood. and he carried many water-logged dead bodies to a mass grave. he said he nearly collapsed emotionally; however, whenly carried a lifeless body of a 3-year-old girl. he said had he just broke down. he was overwhelmed. and he felt he could continue no more. amazingly, a few days later, there he was determined to rebuild and overcome. it was full of faith. that resiliency was best summed up by archbishop who said, and i quote, the typhoon was the strongest in the world. but our faith in the lord is even stronger. no calamity or natural devastates can quench the fire of our hope. the philippine soul is stronger than yo lane data. our plane was diverted to seek
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the helicopter that crashed in to the bay. after a flawless just above the deck search for survivors, the helicopter had spunk to the bottom. it was like looking for a needle in the hey stack. -- hay stack. they spotted two individuals who had no life jackets open the back of the c130 kicked out a yellow life raft to them. with night darkness approaching. it was clear their lives had been saved. and that was just -- it was a symbol of what everything that was going on in the ground and elsewhere was all about. aboard the crew was cornel john peck, and a group of individuals who were just happy they saved two more lives in addition to automatic the others they had a hand in saving. back we had productive meetings with the health minister, the doctor, and secretary of foreign
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affairs, albert are czar owe. we met with people from the development corporation. one of whom was matt bond. who told us pursuant to a contract of some 435 million of five years cc grant has only been damaged. and that too, the road they constructed actually paved the way for humanitarian supplies to make their way to the victims. we also met with a ton of ngo and other agencies. our interest was not only on effective our emergency was throughout it all, but going forward where our systems ought to be directed in the medium and long-term. we felt that two areas deserved special attention. preventing and addressing potential epidemics, and minimizing the human trafficking. it normally takes a -- after a natural disaster such as a typhoon but international
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health experts told us that already was endemic in the storm -- and could increase four to five fold in the coming weeks. in addition to cholera, hepatitis a, fever, monopoly, and other diseases can proliferate in a post-storm environment. there are vaccines for cholera, hepatitis a, but there are no vaccines for the others. and others that might man fest in huge numbers. they are complicated several factors; first, the philippines is undergoing a rainy season. not only increase breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other disease-bearing pests but harmer relief efforts. many residents without shelter will be more us is susceptible to the element. the lack of electricity can mean
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no cold for medicine that must be refrigerated. including safe blood for women. there are some 90,000 women who are pregnant who lost their ability to go to a venue where safe delivery can occur. we know that some 200 health clinics have been destroyed there. so a venue for them to give birth safely and access to safe blood remains a serious challenge going forward. third, many roads remain uncleared or badly damaged. making transportation for health workers or patients more difficult. fourth, many workers have left the infected areas or died in the storm. and the continued presence of foreign health workers will depend on ongoing donor funding. internationally funded protection efforts currently focus on family reunification, personal identification, and creation of safe spaces for women and children. u.s.a. aide are establish women
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friendly and child-friendly spaces in strategic locations to address the needs of women in adolescence girls as well as male children. the lack of electricity and insecure housing raises the risk of falling prey to abusers and traffickers especially at night. however, while there's acknowledgment of increased risk of human trafficking, in the wake of this storm, the lack of reports have increased has meant the issue is not not yet in full focuses. maybe it's a good news story. we know traffickers are red dpoi prey on the vulnerable and we know that the philippines has a huge problem of women being trafficked and children as well. also, important will be providing shelter for the 1.2 million families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. they told us that 1.3 billion will be needed to repair and to really erect homes that have been destroyed. the philippines, as we all know,
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is a major american ally, and a great training partner. there are an estimated 350 americans living in the pill finds and 4 millions faa peen knows living in the united states. we are bound by a common value system and a great deal of friendship that spans well over a century. we have an support stake in seeing our friends and neighbors can recover from the devastating storm. the purpose of the hearing is what do we do next? how do we proceed and go forward? i would like to yield to my good friend and colleague for opening. >> thatch, mr. chairman. as usual, i want to thank you for your leadership in holding today's hearing. and also for making the trip to the philippines. i want to exattendant warm welcome to assistant administrator lindberg, for the leadership and agreeing to come before the subcommittee and to our witnesses, thank you for your participating and the important work each of your organization is doing to provide relief and support to those in need. los angeles and my congressional
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district home to a large philippine population who have family that have been impacted by the typhoon. i personally have friends who could not find their family members for mu days. the u.s. response to this crisis has been nothing but immediate and swift. i want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the important work currently underway by u.s. aide and dod whose rapid response is undoubtly saved lives and prevented death and injury. let me extend my deep appreciation to the many u.s. based ngo who leaped in to action and those who continue to take on the long and arduous work of rebuilding and helping mend peoples' lives. i want to yield the rest of my time to representative greene, who i know -- oh. okay, mr. chairman. go ahead. >> before i go to mr. gene, i want to go to chairman rice.
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ly yield to my friend and colleague. chairman rice, chairman of the committee. >> i'll yield to mr. al green at this time, if that's all right, mr. chairman. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you to mr. royce. mr. royce, i want to thank you because you immediately started this process with the resolution, and i know you'll say more about it. i won't step on your words. i want to thank you for moving as expeditiously as you did. mr. chairman, i sincerely thank you, because you were not only a great leader, you were a great inspiration. i will tell you that your summary you just accorded us is entirely accurate, and i would like to associate myself with each and every word you articulated. i'm proud to say that the bill is bipartisan and our effort was
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truly a sincere, nonpartisan effort. we went there to be of assistance and i'm proud to have been associated with the endeavor. to my ranking member, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this as an interloper. i seem to find my way in to places, and you have greeted me warmly, and i have great respect and admiration for you. i thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this body today. i would like to extend my condolences to the people in the pill finds. -- philippines. they have suffered greatly. they are in the recovery phase, but there is still great work to be done and i want to assure them that my visit has only strengthened and reenforced my belief that there is much we can do to be of assistance. i would like to thank the
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witness, i did have an opportunity to read your testimony, ms. lind berg. i found it compelling and very extensive and validated what i saw while i was there. so i thank you. i was inspired by the unity of the effort when i was there. there was a try par tide process that involved our embassy, which was right there at the forefront, the leadership was stellar and outstanding. we had u.s. u.s.a. id all over the place. it was remarkable to see how the organization managed to become almost you you --
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of course we had dod. i was very proud to be an american and to be there. our marines landed and people applauded and the marines didn't just show up in the parlance of many of my friends, who live where i live. they showed up and showed out. they acquitted themselves well. the chairman talked about the rescue mission, which was something that happened while we were en route to do something else. they were 66 indication and did it wither lackty. i was proud of the way they handled themselves. the marines that i met about 15 from texas gave me phone numbers and i on thanksgiving day, i received one of the greatest
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rewards you can receive when you call a family member and say i saw your son, i saw your daughter, i saw your husband and i saw your wife. they're doing well and serving our country well. and there were stares -- tears of joy that emanated from some of these relatives and others were just gratified to know that we took the time to go. so mr. chairman, i think we did a good thing. again, thank you for your leadership. mr. franks isn't here. i would like to mention him and say to him i'm proud to enter associated with his effort. he's arrived now. excuse me, mr. franks. my apology. mr. franks from arizona. we had an opportunity to spend lot of time together. and gratified we have the chance to see and unmany things about the philippines. mr. chairman, i don't know how much time you have given me. if you would allow mae couple of more minutes. i appreciate it. i want to mention our
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relationship with the philippines is one that is solid, in my opinion, because the relationship is based upon, in part, business. we are their second largest trading partner. it's more than a relationship. it's a partnership. we have a visiting force agreement with the pill find -- philippines. it's more than a partisanship. it's also a kinship, because we have many american bhos live in the philippines. about 300,000. and we have americans with children that are being born in the philippines. and this relationship this partnership, this kinship, makes our association quite unique. i'm proud of it. i read the testimony, and in your testimony, madam, you
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mentioned about 800,000 people were moved out of harms' way. that answers a question that i had when i went over there. when i saw the devastates, i immediately asked myself, why weren't more people killed? it was a miracle, in my opinion, that more people were not killed but a part of the answer has to do with the way the government was able to evacuate 800,000 people in short order that was a fantastic effort, and i'm proud to say that i know we had a hand in it. i'm proud to say it a lot of lives. and finally, i want to just
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acknowledge we have a bill health care r3602, and any bill i filed is one that i'm amenable to changing. there's nothing in the bill that is sealed in any sort of permanent way. but what it does simply, is accord filipinos who live in the united states of america. we can change the name. we can find another we to do here. here's why i think it's imperative we do this in some way by some name. because the people there in the philippines, 43%, approximately, live off of less than $2 a day. to send people back in to harms' way, in a sense, i think it's a little bit -- to be very kind and sensitive, there are many other
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adjectives. i think we, as a great country, can allow them to stay for some period of time all negotiateble and work and send remittences back to the philippines. last year minnesota $10 billion were sent from the united states to the film peen -- philippines. more than $10 billion. we can help the people of the philippines help themselves with something right now we are calling it temporary protective status. call it anything you want. anybody can sponsor it. i think we need to do something to allow people to help themselves. this is way it can be accomplished. $2 a day, not a lot. we have people working here. their visas will expire. let them don't work and send the remittences back home.
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the people who say i want to send money, i'm not sure who i should send it to. this way the money will get to people who need it. these are family members and friends of people living in it country. she was the commander of the c130 when i had opportunity to go on the flight deck. i want to put in for a good word for the women who serve in the marines. they are doing an outstanding job as well, and i salute her. she is from texas, yes. and she had her co-pilot in training and i was so proud of the way she was training her co-pilot. and i salute all of our men and women who serve. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the time i do not have. >> mr. green, thank you very much. it was a privilege to you and franks on the trip. i would like to yield to
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distinguished mr. rice. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to yourself, mr. franks, to al green, mr. green you are right. we have a kinship with the people of the philippines, and i think that our hearts really go out for the families and the victims. the 5600 people who lost their lives, but the reason i want to commend the three of you is because your focus on this trip was what additional steps can the united states take to make certain that we did not have an epidemic that would follow those who lost their lives that day. that malnourishment wouldn't attitude that toll, and i must tell you as chairman of the foreign affairs committee, i strongly support the u.s. effort here tow help the philippines recover and rebuild and i think the u.s. agency for international development is playing a critical role in this effort.
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along with the brave men and women of our armed forces. and to date we have allocated $60 mlt to recovery efforts. the uss george washington is stationed offshore to support relief efforts. i think many of the filipino american community were districtly affected. i know, we hear from families about how this type -- the worse on record. took from them friends and family members in many cases unaccounted for. we applaud the community's effort to come together and raise funds to donate humanitarian supplies. filipino-americans are rightly proud of their heritage and committed to helping those -- effected by the typhoon. i want to thank cain and randy weber. we had a hearing not long ago.
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a field hearing, we herd from a filipino who had gone through this tragedy of being labor trafficking trafficking in this case, it is in the wink of >> disasters like this. we're making sure it doesn't happen. i want to thank karen and randy for their work on that issue. and i wanted to say that i had the pleasure of meeting with assistant administrator nancy lind berg in the days after the typhoon hit land fall. i want to say it's extraordinary the work usaid is doing there. we want to thank you and your team for bringing comfort and compassion to those who need most. i have one issue i want to raise. one which we met with bill
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gates, the committee members met with bill gates several hours ago. it's one of the issue he addressed as well in this meeting. that is the unacceptably long transit times for supplies to reach those who need it most. the 60-year-old law that governs fooding prevents the timely delivery of assistance by requiring the commodities be sourced directly from the u.s. and then transported overseas. 60 years ago, this made sense. today it has become an unnecessary barrier. in the case of the philippines, usaid made a cash contribution directly to the world food program so commodities can be purchased locally. in comparison, the first shipment of u.s. rice to the philippines is arriving now. just arrived three weeks after -- after the typhoon made land fall. so surely we can do better than
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that, it's time we updated our loss. and i didn't want to say that we have language that we believe we hope is going to be in the farm bill in order make the reform. so, mr. chairman, i am heartened by the outpouring of support that the international community has shown to the philippines. i thank you, again, for your hard work on this issue. two weeks ago this committee voted unanimously to support of bipartisan resolution that i authored expressing our condolences for the people of the philippines and in support of the recovery effort being waged now by usaid and the department of defense and earlier this year, i lead a bipartisan delegation with my good friend, ranking member, to the philippines to strengthen our bilateral relationship with that country. we're going do that again in the wake of these issues. but in the interim, i want to
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thank all the members of the committee and to say we are all filipinos during this difficult time. i look forward to hearing from our distinguished witness. >> thank you for your leadership and comment today. i would like to recognize -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for calling this hearing and as we start to look at the issue, and a personal firsthand testimony you and others who visited the region. it's certainly one that can't help but touch your heard when you hear about people being displaced tps. whard we start talking in millions to really recognize the size of that. but it's the size of the state of oregon. if everybody in oregon were displaced, you know, it's just monumental in term of the impact. so i think in a town where many
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times we can be very critical, agencies and their role in what has happened. and the testimony that has been shared by my colleague, be green, and the chairman. certainly is something that needs to be applauded and we need to celebrate the screeses and hopefully put a model going forward on how we can make sure that our response is not only rapid but one that is sustainable. i think the difficulty we have is with so many tough situations throughout our world is being able to replicate and make sure that the bureaucracy does not get in the way of providing good support. yet, at the same time where we just don't throw money at it. and chairman royce just mentioned this particular issue on a 60-year-old law that we need address, and look at that
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in a real way to make sure that in times of emergency, people can work together. i want to just thank the chairman and ranking member bass for the continued bipartisan. there's very little that is bipartisan in this town. and time and time and time and time again i find that -- with the interest of the people. not only the united states citizens but in this particular case, the filipino people that are hurting and suffering. my heart, my prayers, and my continued support to advance the cause to provide relief is unyielding. with that i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. weber? >> thank you for the meeting. mr. chairman i have lot of questions. i'm short on time. i have a 4:00 meeting. i'm going let you go. >> mr. franks. >> well, thank you, mr.
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chairman. i want to thank the, i guess chairman rise has gone to another committee. we appreciate his fore berns in all of this. it's certainly been a precious honor to have been part of this delegation, and, you know, it seems like congressman chris shit is always at the forefront to do anything he can to recognize the image of god in every person across our world in our midst. i have seen him to be the first to care about and love those that everybody has forgotten about. he's a hero to me and i have the great respect for everything he's done. and congressman green, someone i held to be a friend before we went. now i hold to be a precious friend. and was so touch bid the way he
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put it apedly it was a truly bipartisan effort to making a nonpartisan goal to try to reach tout filipino people. and i appreciate to congressman green very, very much. as it happens, i have the privilege, and i mean that, the privilege to have been married to a lady from the philippines for 33 years. i don't know how in the world it happened, but if she ever leaves me. i'm going go with her. save a little trouble that way. she has been the delight of my life. and it is representativive of the noble nature of the filipino people. this is the people that refused, as congressman smith said to be brought down ultimately bit the storm. they were stronger than the storm. and i couldn't help but notice someone had taken a picture out on a high hill there that have been devastated all around.
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and the banner simply said, roofless, homeless, but not hopeless. i was deeply moved by that. they said the filipino people are people of deep abiding faith, and have a courage that sometimes belies their stature and gentleness. i can't exprez to you the warmth i feel toward the filipino people. maybe i'm a little biased. i assure you it's well justified. i suppose note point out they have been strong allies of the united states in times past critical allies of the united states. one of the places where the storm actually came to shore was place marked -- decades ago. and i thought the symbolism was pretty profound. i would be really lax in not
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pointing out my agreement with both congressman green and congressman smith remitted to -- related to the coordination that occurred there among usaid and all the groups and the ngo. and i have to say especially the american military. i suppose there's no enemy on earth more to be feared than the american military. >> but is no friend that can be more capable and more committed than the same group of men and women i think signify everything american is about. they provided a base of operation there, and the muscle to make this all work. and i know there are so many philippine people we didn't get there in time to help. help didn't get there in time. i only hope that somehow they are not forgotten. their memory is kind of catalyst in our own hearts to recognize
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to be an american is a privilege and also one of the things we sometimes forget how much easier we have. everything about the appropriate to do what we can to extend the hand of freedom and hope to those that are in need. and this is what this was about. and i think it not only is exfies what america believes and stands for. but, mr. chairman, it can have the effect of seeing the light of freedom someday fall across every lonely place and lonely face on this planet. and so let me just suggest to you that i am very honored to be an american and part of this effort. and i'm grateful to all the people that have given their lives to these kinds of cause.
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i'm hoping, mr. chairman, i can ask her when she has the opportunity. because my challenge i have to leave as well. but i'm hoping she can address the whole issue about who usaid's plans and efforts to protect trafficked children, abused children, and what are the best programs they have to protect children from being abused in these crises like this? how do we make sure the programs are in place? and i'm going go ahead and mention the whole epidemic situation that may follow whatever area might be and what we need to do to be prepared for those kind of crises. and finally, you know, it's it's a suggest there had while we were there when people like chris smat and congressman green and others talk about this in the media it keeps this issue in front of the public. which allows them to respond financially and otherwise. it's a consequence that ends up
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protecting real lives. and i'm hoping you might express ways that as members of congress that we can extend our efforts there to make sure we are doing everything we can here and the safety of the capital to do what we can to see preace and help extend it. with that, mr. chairman, i just -- more than anything else a sen of gratitude. grateful to all of you, and you sir, especially. and god bless the filipino people. >> thank you very much, mr. franks. i would like to introdisuse our first panel. beginning with nancy lindberg. conflict and humanitarian assistance at usaid. she testified before our committee on several previous occasions promoting earlier this
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year in the crisis being intorn in to office october of 2010 ms. lind berg has lead the team in the response to the ongoing syria crisis. prior to joins she was president of the mercy corp. she spent 14 years. she held a number of leadership positions on including service as copresident of the board of directors of the u.s. global leadership coalition. one of the founders and board member of the national committee in north korea and chair of the management committee. she's member of the foreign relation. she hold a ba and ma from stanford university and ma public administrate from the jfk
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school. and harvard university. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much. members of the subcommittee, and others. thank you very much for inviting me to testify today. a special thanks to you, congressman smith for leaving the delegation and all of you who went during this important time. and most of all, thanks to all of you for the ongoing support that enables us to do this kind of life-saving work and express who we are as americans in these types of need. that's vitally important. this has been the worst year sin 1993 for the philippines. an the november 8th super typhoon was the worst of those storms. the worst of an already bad year with the 195 miles per hour winds, a storm surge that reached higher and went further inland thant indian ocean tsunami. today we know that 5,600 people
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have died and nearly 11 million have been effected. as did many of you, again, express my deepest condolences of the people of the philippines. these are life changing losses that will take many years to fully regroup from. as you noted, i traveled to the philippines one week after the storm made land fall and saw the devastation. you see the photograph. when you're in it it's an eerie, twisted landscape of boats and cars tossed in trees and people's lives destroyed. you also see these signs of hope, the signs of humanity that surfaced even during the difficult moments. i met a brother and sister, and the sister was telling me about how her brother rescued 13 people at great personal sacrifice during the typhoon. these are the stories that are side by side with the devastation and the loss. and the great resilience of the
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people as they begin to emerge from the worse of the storm. is also saw hassive relief effort already in full swing. i arrived on a u.s. military c130 that was carrying life-saving supplies that u.s.a. aid brought in from our regional key piece of equipment. i also saw the rice that we had enabled world food program to buy loamly being put in to family packs and distributed so it was in the hands of 2.7 million people within the first week. making a life saving difference. and i vetted government philippine run incident dismanned center that were mapping out the distribution sending out supplies on ped i pedicab, us. -- buses and trucks they recruited to the effort. this is a result of 10-year partnership to increase preparedness and the ability to
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respond. u.s. military aircraft delivered more than 2,000 ton of relief supply and evacuated 21,000 people out of storm-damaged areas. once we got back in. to date the u.s. government has provided nearly $60 million in humanitarian assistance. all of that is already on the ground has made a difference during those early life saving days. so as noted. we already looking ahead. i've submitted a full detail testimony. let me hit on a few highlight from the relief, the recovery, and reconstruction aspects. the first is that we have a applied some key lessons from past disasterrer that helped us improve the coordination and the response for this typhoon. u.s.a. aid expert were tracking it for at least week before it hit ground. we were able to preposition member of our disaster
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assistance response team to work with the military and the embassy both to prepare and enable an immediate response. it roads were inassessable. we were a able to immediately do assessment and deliver life-saving supplies to one of the hardest hit cities. and then as we invested and supported the capacity of the civilian side, both the government and the u.n. to set up land and sea bridges to help clear the roads so that we were able to wrap up the military engagement and bring forward the longer term civilian ability to ensure that the delivery were able to continue. lo jiggics were the number one
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focus. followed by three key priorities. emergency shelter, water sanitation, and food. there were about a million homes destroyed by the storm. we air lifted right away heavy duty plastic sheeting to the philippines that -- contribute temporary shelters. the water supply were ranched. the system were down. we focused on provision of clean water, chlorine tablet, and very quickly worked to get it up and running with the support to unreceive and by the time i was there. that was already providing 100% the water for the municipal area. the philippines government and the international community continued to -- spornd to the health concerns. there are nearly 200 health teams on the ground now and more than 2,000 children have been
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immunized. and withstanding water trapped in the debris it was a particular concern. there's been a big push for fogging operations. as chairman royce noted. we use the full spectrum of our food assistance tool the local purchase of rice got food immediately in to the hand of people who needed it then. we also were able to air lift very nutrient-dense food bar and nutrition paste from our regional warehouses and when there were no cooking facilities available, families were able to get a full-calorie out of these u.s.-produced food bars. finally, we rerouted the ship that was just loading up in our hub in sri lanka and brought that to the philippines nap ship
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arrived yesterday afternoon. although it wasn't there for the life-saving portion it will be an important part of the ongoing response. it's importance of a very flexible, full suite of tools. finally, we know the most vulnerable, the women, the children, and elderly and those with special needs fare the worst during the disasters. we have a state initiative called safe from the start. which reminds us we need protection from the earliest day of the response. we are supporting programs that are working with identification, tracing and reunification of unaccompanied children focusing on safe space for women and chirp. one of the most important protection approaches making sure that aid gets to people who need it as quickly as possible. i wanted to say a note about the power of preparedness. we have been working with the government and the philippines, which is the second most
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disaster prone country in the region to help prepare and mitigate the risk of natural disasters for almost a decade. this is critically important. it helped make this not as bad as it could have been. we've been training on first responders, on something called incident command system that we brought forward from our own u.s. forest service that enables the government to set up the command centers and know what to do and how to bring forward the right kind of trained people. they evacuated nearly 800,000 people in the advance of the storm. it saved countless lives. it's something we continue to do as we grapple with the new normal of increased storms that are battering an island nation like the philippines. we have to move as quickly as possible to early recovery. it's vital to so people can get on with their lives so they
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don't get mired in hopelessness and standing on the two feet again. we are already seeing market activities sprib up even in the hardest hit area. we are looking how to provide life-saving than is also very aware of local coping mechanism and local markets. we are moving forward at our strategies for provision of lively hood support, looking at transitional shelter, continued food security, water sanitation efforts, and continued protection of the most vulnerable population including the human trafficking issues that are important and very much a part of our consideration. looking ahead, the government in the philippines just released the first early draft of what is considered they think they need. they have identified about 2.6 billion. each year the philippines loses
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about $5 billion as a result of natural disasters that is 2% of gdp. so as we look ahead to the reconstruction, one of the areas we will look at closely is continuing the preparedness, the risk reduction, and how to build resilience at the household, the system, and the country level. it was one of the three area of focus for the usaid mission. it will be critical looking ahead. we are prioritizing our effort to support the critical area identified including some of the infrastructure, the lively hoods, and essential services that are necessary to get those communities back up on their feet. then finally we know that the most vulnerable will continue to be important as we go forward. we've -- just to conclude. a number of you


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